When Tom Cruise burned up the screens as the brooding bartender in 1988 hit film Cocktail, that pretty much sealed the deal as bartending being a bonafide sexy job. But like all sexy jobs, a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes, as 24-year-old Zachary de Git will tell you. After six months of intensive training, the head bartender at The Tippling Club recently clinched the coveted Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year in Singapore. He will be competing in the global finals next week in Europe aboard the luxury cruise liner Azamara Journey.
We managed to catch him in between his grueling schedule of work and rehearsals for a quick chat on all things cocktails …
What are some of your favourite ingredients to work with when making a cocktail?
Personally, I really love working with fortified wines as they have a complexity and a combination of interesting flavours. It helps to add a special touch to my drinks. While aesthetics are important, they come in last to complement the flavours of the drink.
I also enjoy adding modern twists to classic cocktails. One of my favourite drinks to make is the Talisker Bobby Burns which consists of Talisker 10 year old Single Malt Whisky, Antica Formula and DOM Benedictine. The unusual combination of ingredients lend the drink a smoky, slightly herbal flavour, which I love.
Tell me about the most insane alcoholic beverage you’ve tried.
My most memorable drink to date would be Lagavulin 1990 Distillers Edition, a limited-edition single-malt whiskey that I drank neat. The complexity of flavours in the blend was something I’ve never tasted before, and it was definitely a “Wow!” experience for me. Plus, I was drinking it with a few good friends back home in Melbourne, so I have particularly fond memories of that experience.
Do you think a woman’s choice of drink really says something about her personality?
I don’t think so. I can’t speak for everyone but from what I’ve observed, the majority of women love drinks that incorporate a combination of sweet and sour flavours. These usually involve drinks with a fruity mixture of berries.
“I want to experiment with different flavours and drinks when I’m out, but I heard mixing drinks is the fastest way to get drunk. What’s some way to get a good mix without the bad buzz?”
In my opinion, this is a myth. I believe it’s more about the volume consumed that gets to you and this is subjective to your tolerance level. I personally don’t drink to get drunk; I am more focused on the enjoyment of the drink in good company. My advice would be to drink responsibly – know your limits and pace yourself, and drink water in between.
What’s a simple, foolproof cocktail I can prepare for guests?
One of my favourites to make is the Clover Club. The combination of the sweetness of the fruits with the edgy taste of the gin makes this a refreshing favourite for humid evenings.
– 50 ml Tanqueray No. Ten
– 25 ml lemon juice
– 20 ml of raspberry puree
– half egg white
– Shake the ingredients together, without ice
– Shake the ingredients again, this time with ice
– Pour into a vintage champagne coupe, and enjoy!
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.
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